City Council approves resolution requiring car washes to close during MLGW water crisis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night encouraging citizens and businesses to curtail their water usage during the Memphis low water pressure emergency and to require car wash facilities to cease operating during the water crisis.

“Don’t wash your car. I know it might sound mean, but don’t do it,” MLGW Spokeswoman Gale Jones Carson said during Good Morning Memphis Tuesday morning.

RELATED: More than 250,000 in Memphis impacted by MLGW’s ongoing boil water advisory

Nobody likes a dirty car, but at least for the time being, if you are in Memphis and Shelby County, Memphis Light Gas and Water says it would be greatly appreciated if you waited to wash your car.

Memphis City Council made it official Tuesday night and is asking Code Enforcement to assist in ensuring that car wash facilities comply.

FOX13 found a number of people washing their cars at various businesses around the city after the station was bombarded with emails and phone calls asking if it should be happening.

RELATED: Memphis restaurants grappling with ongoing water crisis

“It’s just a disgrace, so and I got my little brother here, and we ain’t trying to be the law, but it’s wrong,” said Antonio Smith. “Yall, cut it out.”

Smith says it doesn’t surprise him during this water crisis that MLGW is asking people to stop washing their cars in an effort to conserve water.

“Somebody has got to do something about it because there are a lot of people all over the world and here, on a serious note, that don’t have water and all this, and you’re really not supposed to be doing it,” Smith said.

Conserving that water could get all of us back to some sense of normalcy a whole lot quicker.

The following is the resolution approved by Memphis City Council:

WHEREAS, as the City of Memphis continues to recover from a massive winter storm that wreaked havoc on our community resulting in the declaration of a State of Emergency by the Mayor, all citizens are encouraged to heed the pleas of Memphis Light, Gas and Water to conserve water as it addresses the damaging effects that the cold temperatures, ice and snow have had on its infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, with record low temperatures in the single digits, our community had to brace for three winter storm events whose aftermath resulted in more than 80 ruptured mains, non-operational wells, and water supply demands that stressed the system beyond the normal daily average of 106,486,000 million gallons per day to an excess of 176 million gallons per day; and

WHEREAS, as of February 22, MLGW had cut off the water services as the request of 3,230 businesses and residential properties due to broken services, frozen service and non-operation water calls and has worked diligently over several days assist the hospitals, and other vital medical facilities impacted by water issues; and

WHEREAS, challenged by low water pressure in the 20 million-gallon range, far below the safe level for drinking water as the potential for contaminants to enter the supply is greater, MLGW issued a precautionary boil water advisory as mandated by the State when water pressure reaches the levels currently seen; and

WHEREAS, MLGW President J. T. Young described the situation as critical and as it requested of its larger water customers including TVA through the Allen Stem Plant to reduce its water intake, the entire community is entreated to do its part by limiting water usage; and

WHEREAS, the Memphis City Council asks citizens to commit to reducing water consumption by recognizing that non-essential practices such as washing their cars should be restricted until the water crisis has been resolved; and

WHEREAS, recognizing the magnitude of the water emergency the Council does hereby require car washing facilities to cease operating until such time that the boil water advisory has ended.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MEMPHIS CITY COUNCIL that citizens are encouraged to limit their use of water while MLGW works to restore a fully serviceable water pressure level and require that car wash facilities discontinue operating until the boil water advisory is no longer in effect.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED BY THE MEMPHIS CITY COUNCIL does enlist the assistance of Code Enforcement to assist in ensuring that car wash facilities comply with the provisions of this resolution.